Choosing the job of your dreams
Published: Wednesday | August 12, 2009
It can be very difficult to separate the careers that suit your personality and abilities from the careers that would frustrate you or make you unhappy. To be happy and successful in a job, you need to ensure that your abilities, values and personality are well aligned with those needed for your chosen career and with those of the organisation you work for.
Psychometric tests are very useful for this sort of self-assessment - they are quick to complete and can give you good information on which you can base your career decision-making. Psychometric testing is an important objective tool that helps in assessing the personality traits of an individual. The personality profiling achieved through this technique helps in determining if one has the skill sets necessary for a certain organisation or for school, which in turn directs towards a successful career.
A psychometric test focuses on aptitude and personality testing. It is based on the theory of the late Dr John Holland, a well-known career development author and researcher, who put forward the view that people with the same or similar interests are often found in the same work environments. These work environments can be divided into six groups - realistic, investigative, social, enterprising, artistic and conventional. The following are some elements of this kind of testing:
Ability testing. This measures a person's potential, for instance, to learn skills necessary for a new job (eg to conduct statistical analysis). The focus, therefore, is on prospective or likely performance, ie, what the person is capable of achieving in the future or his potential to learn.
Aptitude Testing. Aptitude can be defined as those things or activities a person has the potential to do or perform well, which seem to come easy or naturally (eg study for long hours without taking a break).
Personality Testing. Personality can be defined as relatively stable and enduring aspects of individuals which distinguish them from other people, making them unique but at the same time allowing for comparisons between individuals. A personality test is designed to reveal your interests and motivations, and usually involves a standardised series of questions or tasks, used to describe or evaluate a person's personality characteristics. (eg likes, dislikes, feelings).
Psychometric tests are measured using psychometric test questionnaires. The results are then gathered and analysed, and a printed report is generated or compiled.
Popular psychometric tests include the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, the Thomas International Personal Profile Analysis and the Career Key. A quick search online will reveal quite a number of free tests that can be accessed with just a click of a button.
One test is available on the website www.lifelonglearningja.org.
It is recommended that individuals do at least one psychometric assessment test, before they decide on a career. Having done the psychometric test, the next step is to research the career list generated by the test, in order to identify the one(s) that most suit your personality and interests. Good luck!
Kareen Cox is the resource coordinator in the Career Development Services Department, HEART Trust/NTA.